Kent State was included in the 2019 edition of Princeton’s annual Guide to Green Colleges. 

Princeton profiled 413 universities out of the 700 that it surveyed in 2018 and 2019 for “their strong commitments to green practices and programs,” according to a press release from Princeton.

These colleges were pulled from a survey done in 2018 that polled hundreds of administrators from four-year colleges about “their institutions’ commitments to the environment and sustainability,” according to a press release from Kent State. 

Melanie Knowles, manager of sustainability, said some ways Kent State has become more sustainable is by making buildings on campus more energy efficient and and using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles, one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide. The university also decreased waste and increased recycling efforts. The university also implemented more transportation options, which include PARTA bus rides, Zipcars and VeoRide bikes.  

“The recent VeoRide (and) Flashfleet bikeshare program had over 12,000 rides in just September of 2019 alone,” Knowles said. “The previous version of the bikeshare in September of 2017, for example, had under 1,000 rides in a month.”

Kent State started officially going green in 2008, when the university created a sustainability task force, which then created the sustainability management position. 

“We have a small office of sustainability, with me and one other person. But we collaborate with departments all over campus, whether it’s operationally or academic departments,” Knowles said. “There are just many, many people around campus who are involved in incorporating sustainability for more than 10 years.”

Contact Kimberly Fisher at kfishe48@kent.edu.

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